Self-Actualization and the Integration of Psychedelic Experience: The Mediating Role of Perceived Benefits to Narrative Self-Functioning

This survey study (n=750) draws upon the eudaimonic perspective of well-being to investigate the relationship between the extent of post-psychedelic integration and optimal well-being. Results indicated that perceived benefits to narrative self-functioning is one pathway through which integration of psychedelic experience may promote optimal well-being for both clinical and non-clinical populations. Integration techniques that are more self-referential in nature indirectly relate to optimal well-being via perceived benefits.

Abstract

“There is a growing need in the field of psychedelic science for a unifying perspective of overall well-being to join seemingly disparate findings across clinical and non-clinical populations, and account for the unique role of post-psychedelic integration for promoting benefits. According to the eudaimonic perspective of well-being, the stories we create about who we are (self-insight) and who we can become (personal development) are key aspects of narrative self-functioning that either constrain or facilitate well-being. The present paper draws upon this perspective to investigate the relationship between the extent of post-psychedelic integration and optimal well-being (self-actualization), with perceived benefits to narrative self-functioning (self-insight and personal development) as a mediator. The data for testing this model was collected from roughly 750 participants recruited from websites and social media forums. Because the sample contained clinical and non-clinical individuals, the model was able to be tested with a mental health condition as a moderator. Results indicated that perceived benefits to narrative self-functioning is one pathway through which integration of psychedelic experience may promote optimal well-being for both clinical and non-clinical populations. Exploratory analyses indicated that integration techniques that are more self-referential in nature are the ones that indirectly relate to optimal well-being via perceived benefits. The results of the present study should be interpreted as a preliminary model for future longitudinal research to test, as our cross-sectional methods preclude any causal inferences to be made from these mediation analyses.”

Authors: Nicole Amada & Jacob Shane

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Study details

Topics studied
Neuroscience

Study characteristics
Survey Theory Building

Participants
750 Humans

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